505 Southwestern Celebrates Year-Long Anniversary
From Hatch-to-Colorado-table, the national chile brand headquartered in Colorado is celebrating 25 years of farming and flavor, all year.
Coloradans hold green chile dear as any four-corner state. We dance with regionally-influenced foods, from California-style burritos and Tijuana-style tacos to fresh and fire-roasted chiles scored at markets, sides of highways, and grocery stores alike. It’s all West, Southwest food culture. Cooking green chile often comes in the form of unfolding those roasted chiles into stews and sauces across our family dinner tables. Or, for both convenience and flavor’s sake, we can reach for: 505 Southwestern.
Complete with the Hatch stamp of approval, 505 Southwestern’s chiles, salsas, and dips often dress our weekly meals. Think, Chile-spiked Quesos or Chimichurri sauce to Birria and Chilaquiles Verdes, and more. Or, such as any number of innovative recipes that landed on the 505 Southwestern’s “People’s Choice” recipe contest, with voting open through July 1.
The contest was preceded by the year-long celebratory announcement that officially kicked off on May 5 — dubbed 5-05 Day to represent the eponymous brand and New Mexico zip code — honoring 25 years in anniversary through more than 20 sauces and salsas to-date plus quesos and chips, including expanded flagships, to collaborations with farmers and workers from Denver to the Rio Grande Valley.
The “recipe” idea inception that took 505 Southwestern to over two decades originated in the hands of founder and restaurateur Roy Solomon in 1997. He delivered green chile one jar at a time, be it from his restaurant to driving the lot to Denver to launch the brand, until selling the company in 2008.
Today, Executive Chairman Rob Holland leads the brand and has helped bridge the 505 and 303 area codes by officially moving the 505 Southwestern corporate headquarters to Greenwood Village in 2015, with the manufacturing facility residing in New Mexico.
Why the continual tie with our neighboring lands in New Mexico? For starters, the Hatch Valley is frequently deemed one of the most coveted regions for chile production. Reminiscent of wine terroir, the outstretched Rio Grande Valley sees a mix of high elevation and volcanic soil, warm days and cool nights, for growing chiles. More, Holland helps to explain the fruits of the labor.
“We love all things green chile. We’re a Colorado based company, so we’ll always give a big shout out to our friends in Pueblo who grow great peppers,” notes Holland.
Across bushels of pounds of chiles produced each year, Holland adds, “New Mexico has built a whole industry around green chile that is better equipped to service our needs. The New Mexico growing season is slightly longer, and the farmers down there have been great partners of ours for over 20 years. [The brand] 505 now has four facilities and farmland in Colorado and New Mexico to support the growing, roasting, jarring, and distribution of our green chile. We are very unique in our true farm-to-table infrastructure.”
The 505 Southwestern brand stands behind the quality of the chiles that back their sauces, from believing in the soils and hands that produce it, to choices of integrating most products with non-GMO, gluten-free, and vegan ingredients. Such quality care could also be attributed to the track record that saw 505 brands continually stocked on grocery shelves throughout the pandemic. That, and the ease that comes with local distribution.
“We are here to serve our direct customers (e.g. grocery stores, club stores, and other retailers/resellers) and our end consumers, so we are extremely proud of our ability to stay in stock throughout the pandemic,” said Holland.
“We’ve made some strategic decisions over the past few years to invest heavily in our manufacturing capacity and distribution network, and that has allowed us to best serve our customers and keep up with growing demand. It is a testament to our vertical integration and streamlined production process, and we are thankful to our entire team for working so hard to keep shelves stocked and consumers happy,” added Holland.
The 505 Southwestern brand crowns Colorado as their number-one market. Further growth — and in the name of anniversary — brought the variety of sauces and chiles all throughout concessions at Colorado Rockies and Denver Broncos games thanks to recent partnerships. “Coloradoans appreciate and prioritize high quality, local products and that doesn’t stop when they go to a sporting event,” said Holland.
Sports goers can bump into a 505 Southwestern vendor booth, to finding the sauces on their favorite snacks at the games. Holland continued, “Whether at the game, tailgating, or watching from home, 505 Southwestern products are a perfect addition to just about everything from pizza to brats to nachos — making these ideal partnerships that we are very proud of. These partnerships help the teams and stadiums grow their concession sales while providing an enhanced experience to the fans.”
The brand continues to find ways to stretch its roots. Such as adding to recipes to browse online (in addition to contests), including a cookbook inspired by Chef Eric Greenspan. And in ‘think globally act locally’ fashion, 505 Southwestern has reached across the U.S. with their products, from Los Angeles to as far as London. All, while in-keeping to investing in the local economy and finding ways to give back to the community.
So, whether you’re chiming in celebrating 505 Southwestern’s anniversary, through recipe contests, or a hot dog at a game that just got a whole lot more tasty, or simply carrying along in your typical green-chile doused weekly meals as most locals do — simply celebrate, in 303 and 505 style — because green chile is Southwest food, and Southwest food is shared love.